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Compare and contrast the Classical Maya and the African empires with those of Classical Eurasia

Examine the primary source documents (chapter 6 as well) provided in “Working with Evidence:

Axum and the World” & “Thinking through Sources: Art and the Maya Elite”. Compare and contrast the

Classical Maya and the African empires with those of Classical Eurasia. Then based on those primary

source documents and textbook chapter, how would you describe Axum’s various relationships with the

world beyond its borders? How does each of the documents reflect the distinctive perspective of its

author? What different perspectives can you notice between those documents written from within Axum

and those written by outsiders? How did the particularsocial role that each author represents (missionary,

monarch, and merchant) affect their view of Axum? Then juxtapose it with Maya culture -what can you

learn from visual sources as well about the values, preoccupations, and outlook of the Maya elite? In what

ways are women and men depicted in these visual sources (gender parallelism defined gender relations in

Maya civilization)? What might this suggest about their respective roles in the elite circles of Maya

Society? What feelings or judgments do these visual sources evoke in you? Which of your “modern day

values” might get in the way of a sympathetic understanding of the Maya elite?

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